Friday, May 20, 2011

French Food Files: Poulet à la crème à l'estragon aka chicken with cream and tarragon

Learned two things yesterday:

1) My Little Monster likes sesame chips.

2) Tarragon is an herb.
     Always thought it was some mystical cult from medieval times who would charge around on their war       horses brandishing their swords and yelling, "TARRAGON!"


No. As I found out it's an herb with a licorice taste.

I don't like licorice.
Another recipe from France: The Beautiful Cookbook, I skipped the seafood chapters and went straight to poultry. {oh, another thing I found out: 3) Safeway sells duck. Never knew that.}

Poulet à La Crème à l'Estragon
from France: The Beautiful Cookbook
adapted by: me!

1 chicken - $8
10 sprigs fresh tarragon - $2
1 oz butter
3/4 chicken stock
3/4 heavy cream

Total - $11 (I also bought fresh broccoli)
(linking up today with Delicious Dishes, It's a Keeper and Friday Potluck)
Unwrap the chicken and have The Hubs take the gizzards out. (eeewwww!!)

Season with salt inside and out. Then stuff with 8 sprigs of tarragon.

While stuffing the bird have 1/2 the butter melting in a pot big enough to hold the chicken.

Once melted add the chicken and brown on all sides. The book says 10 minutes and that's what we did but our skin didn't brown up like they show, so maybe 5 more minutes or just brown till skin looks golden.

Remove chicken and pour out the butter.

Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock. Now, I didn't have stock so I just made some with a chicken bouillon cube.

Once pot has become deglazed put the chicken back in, cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

After the long wait, while delicious smells are wafting through the kitchen, you then remove the chicken set it aside and keep warm. Boil the liquid that is left over until it is syrupy (which took a while) then add the cream and boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add a few sprigs of tarragon and remove from heat.

Carve the chicken and pour the sauce over.

I served this with: a green salad

spinach, iceberg lettuce, green onion, and tarragon (bad idea!)

white rice

steamed broccoli with cheese

Verdict:  Everyone really liked the chicken. Picky Pants had seconds and even asked for more sauce! whoa! The chicken was juicy and it was the right amount of tarragon any more would have overwhelmed the dish.

Although....the skin didn't brown as well as I would have liked and I thought that the dish tasted very holiday-ish. Like it should be Thanksgiving or even Christmas. It was the tarragon. It had the taste of winter time. Do you know what I mean? I added some to my salad and like I said before, bad idea. It was ok if I had other stuff but unfortunately my last bite was all tarragon! *shudder* I had to go eat a cracker to get that taste out of my mouth. Like I also said before, not a big fan of the licorice taste. A li'l of this goes a long way - remember that!

But really, overall, a keeper! We noticed that the next day the sauce got very thick, you could spread it with a knife. The Hubs put some on a roll with the leftover chicken and said it still tasted good, better even.

As for that cult, well...if you happen to be in an old dusty store browsing through cookbooks and you hear a whisper "What thyme is it?" just answer,



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